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Old 04-28-06, 05:45 AM   #1
BryanW
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Creaking from bars, but not caused by bars or stem

Hi, my mountain-bike has recently developed a very annoying, and quite loud, clicking noise when any torque is applied to the bars (sometimes even when touching or letting go of the bars). Happens whether the bike is moving or stationary. I've tried swapping both the bars and the stem, but the noise is exactly the same, so I assume it must be caused by something else. While the stem was off, i checked the headset (but didn't disassemble it), and it looked clean (only been on a couple of months anyway). I also checked and cleaned the front skewer. None of this had any effect.

I've tried searching the forums, but most threads seemed to revolve around the stem/bar clamp, which I've already checked. Can anyone suggest what i should try next?

Thanks, Bryan
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Old 04-28-06, 05:50 AM   #2
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Try loosening the top cap on the steerer and put a light coat of grease on the side that contacts the stem. Just another one of those places that can cause noise.
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Old 04-28-06, 06:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Fierte
Try loosening the top cap on the steerer and put a light coat of grease on the side that contacts the stem. Just another one of those places that can cause noise.
Thanks for the suggestion, but alas, no joy.
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Old 04-28-06, 06:30 PM   #4
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Try greasing the threads on the bolts which tighten the face clamp onto the bars, if you haven't already done this. It was the cause of creaking on my bike!
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Old 04-28-06, 07:48 PM   #5
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Could even be the crank... Can you replicate the noise by standing in front of the bike, holding the front-tyre between your legs and yanking on the bars up & down, and rocking them side-to-side?

Quote:
Originally Posted by freeranger
Try greasing the threads on the bolts which tighten the face clamp onto the bars, if you haven't already done this. It was the cause of creaking on my bike!
That's why I don't like the 4-bolt caps on a lot of stems. ALL of the load is transmitted through the bolts only and it really concentrates the stress on the threads. I think a 1-piece clamp that wraps around the bars with a lot more contact surface-area and a single bolt does a better job of clamping the bar and keeping it quite.. of course installation requires more work...
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Old 04-28-06, 08:10 PM   #6
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To add onto this,

I too have a creaking. I am 80% sure it is coming from the headset. If its not the headset then its the rear cable which i just got installed. But I am honestly doubting that the cable would still be clicking.
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Old 04-28-06, 08:47 PM   #7
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seatpost creak. take it out, regrease, put it back.

sd
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Old 04-29-06, 01:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
Could even be the crank... Can you replicate the noise by standing in front of the bike, holding the front-tyre between your legs and yanking on the bars up & down, and rocking them side-to-side?
Yes. Which I think also rules out the seatpost as the culprit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freeranger
Try greasing the threads on the bolts which tighten the face clamp onto the bars, if you haven't already done this. It was the cause of creaking on my bike!
The clamp bolts are already greased ... plus, the noise is exactly the same with three different stems, so I think the problem must lie elsewhere.

Could it be the headset? Anyone ever had a headset make this kind of noise?

Bryan
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Old 04-29-06, 06:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanW
Yes. Which I think also rules out the seatpost as the culprit.



The clamp bolts are already greased ... plus, the noise is exactly the same with three different stems, so I think the problem must lie elsewhere.

Could it be the headset? Anyone ever had a headset make this kind of noise?

Bryan
Hey bryan, Personally I am starting to rule out everything else and focusing on my headset. Of course I aint takin it apart (at least now) so if it still bugs me I am takin it to a good shop. and to be honest with you if you outnumbered all those parts, then I would in your case take it to a shop too.

But thats just me.
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Old 04-29-06, 07:49 AM   #10
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Well, fingers crossed, I think I've solved it. When I was tightening the stem-cap bolt after yet another stem swap this morning, I found it just kept turning and turning without ever getting tight ... turned out it had pulled the star washer all the way up the steerer! So I replaced it with an Azonic headlock, and on a ride round the block just now the noise seems to have gone. Hope that's still true when I go on a proper ride later.
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Old 04-30-06, 01:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaq-d
seatpost creak. take it out, regrease, put it back.

sd
Well, who'd a thunk it? It was the seatpost, even though the noise also happened when out of the saddle, and even though I could make it by holding the front wheel between my knees and yanking on the bars.

(Unless there was bar noise as well, and I fixed that with the headlock.)

The solution was to turn the seatpost clamp round so the bolt was on the opposite side from the slot in the seat tube. The noise starts to come back after a while, but undoing and redoing the QR then fixes it. Hopefully buying a non-QR seat collar will be a permanent fix.

Now, if I can only fix my squealing brakes, I'll have a half-quiet bike.
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Old 04-30-06, 01:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanW
Well, who'd a thunk it? It was the seatpost, even though the noise also happened when out of the saddle, and even though I could make it by holding the front wheel between my knees and yanking on the bars.

(Unless there was bar noise as well, and I fixed that with the headlock.)

The solution was to turn the seatpost clamp round so the bolt was on the opposite side from the slot in the seat tube. The noise starts to come back after a while, but undoing and redoing the QR then fixes it. Hopefully buying a non-QR seat collar will be a permanent fix.

Now, if I can only fix my squealing brakes, I'll have a half-quiet bike.
i woulda thunk it. that's why i said it. don't use the QR. make sure the post is greased.

to fix squealing brakes, make sure they're flat on the rim.

sd
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Old 04-30-06, 12:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaq-d
to fix squealing brakes, make sure they're flat on the rim.

sd
I thought rim brakes had to be toed in?

Sadly, in any case, these are disc brakes. If you have any thoughts on fixing disc brake squeal, I'd love to hear it, given your track record If I can't sort it by sanding the pads and having the mounts faced, it'll be time for another thread ...

Hey, Hi565, have you checked your seatpost yet?
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Old 04-30-06, 04:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanW
Hi, my mountain-bike has recently developed a very annoying, and quite loud, clicking noise when any torque is applied to the bars (sometimes even when touching or letting go of the bars). Happens whether the bike is moving or stationary. I've tried swapping both the bars and the stem, but the noise is exactly the same, so I assume it must be caused by something else. While the stem was off, i checked the headset (but didn't disassemble it), and it looked clean (only been on a couple of months anyway). I also checked and cleaned the front skewer. None of this had any effect.

I've tried searching the forums, but most threads seemed to revolve around the stem/bar clamp, which I've already checked. Can anyone suggest what i should try next?

Thanks, Bryan

i finally located the last of several annoying creaks....it was the third eye chain guard which only creaked when i climbed out of the saddle.

i've been riding my bike in the rain, you see, and that'll make stuff creak.

and a creak can emanate from any part of the bike and often times what i think is causing the creak isn't.

so keep looking and gluck!

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Old 04-30-06, 10:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanW
I thought rim brakes had to be toed in?

Sadly, in any case, these are disc brakes. If you have any thoughts on fixing disc brake squeal, I'd love to hear it, given your track record If I can't sort it by sanding the pads and having the mounts faced, it'll be time for another thread ...

Hey, Hi565, have you checked your seatpost yet?
woops.. i'm a roady..don't know nott'n about those disc brakes toe in is not good for dual pivot road brakes...

http://www.parktool.com/repair/byreg...mageField2.y=9


sd
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Old 05-01-06, 03:26 PM   #16
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Well here is the thing regarding the seat post...If I am off the bike and I grab hold of the handle bars and move them side to side I notice that the sound is coming from the Head set area. So I doubt its the seatpost in that case.
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Old 05-01-06, 06:35 PM   #17
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The head set bearings rest on conical surfaces and these can creak. Even though there is supposed to be no movement, grease all external bearing interfaces.
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Old 05-03-06, 12:45 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hi565
Well here is the thing regarding the seat post...If I am off the bike and I grab hold of the handle bars and move them side to side I notice that the sound is coming from the Head set area. So I doubt its the seatpost in that case.
well, if u've done all can to fix the headset area, grease the post. then get back to me.

sd
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Old 05-03-06, 12:00 PM   #19
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Another place to check is the bottom bracket. You'd be surprised at how sounds seem to travel through bike frames.

Pull the bb out, and clean all the threads (frame and bb cups). Put a small amount of grease on it and reinstall.

I've had a lot of creaks on bikes, but never at a headset. Not saying it can't happen, just never has for me.
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Old 05-03-06, 01:29 PM   #20
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I had a nasty creak I couldn't place. I was all over the bottom bracket, crank bolts, chainring bolts, seat tube... turned out to be a loose bottle cage bolt.
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Old 05-05-06, 01:04 PM   #21
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Argh! Now the noise keeps coming back! I've tried 3 different seat collars (2 QR, 1 not) and every time, when I install the collar (all cleaned and greased, with a greased post) the noise goes away, but comes back in a few miles. So I undo and retighten the collar, and the noise goes, only to come back again ...

One thing that might be relevant is that the seatpost is not a tight fit in the frame. It's the right size (at least the given size in mm is the same, 30.9) but with the seat collar undone it will slide down under the force of gravity. Could it be this lack of a snug fit that's causing the creaking? If so, what can I do about it?
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Old 05-05-06, 11:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanW
Argh! Now the noise keeps coming back! I've tried 3 different seat collars (2 QR, 1 not) and every time, when I install the collar (all cleaned and greased, with a greased post) the noise goes away, but comes back in a few miles. So I undo and retighten the collar, and the noise goes, only to come back again ...

One thing that might be relevant is that the seatpost is not a tight fit in the frame. It's the right size (at least the given size in mm is the same, 30.9) but with the seat collar undone it will slide down under the force of gravity. Could it be this lack of a snug fit that's causing the creaking? If so, what can I do about it?
hmm that's wierd. you could try tightening the screws super-tight.. but maybe it's not the seatpost after all. take out the seatpost and ride with it and see if it still happens? if it definitely is the seatpost, and it's all greased up and tight, i can't think of a fix. could be just something u have to live with..or frame's getting old..alum/steel..?

sd
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Old 05-06-06, 12:18 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanW
Argh! Now the noise keeps coming back! I've tried 3 different seat collars (2 QR, 1 not) and every time, when I install the collar (all cleaned and greased, with a greased post) the noise goes away, but comes back in a few miles. So I undo and retighten the collar, and the noise goes, only to come back again ...

One thing that might be relevant is that the seatpost is not a tight fit in the frame. It's the right size (at least the given size in mm is the same, 30.9) but with the seat collar undone it will slide down under the force of gravity. Could it be this lack of a snug fit that's causing the creaking? If so, what can I do about it?
Could be... with the clamp undone, can you lock the seat post laterally any? Go to a shop and test-fit the next seatpost size up. It really shouldn't slide down by itself...
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Old 05-06-06, 01:26 AM   #24
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Thanks for the replies. Sorry, I might have been exaggerating a little when I said it slides down by itself ... I thought it was doing, but I can't get it to do it now, though it does feel quite loose, and there is a little bit of side-to-side play with the clamp off, but only when it's fairly high up in the seat tube (I run it at the minimum insertion mark). I get the same play with two other 30.9 posts that I have, so if there is a size discrepancy, it must be the frame (which is new, BTW). I can't get a bigger post in the same model, which I really want to keep. Is it worth trying to make a shim out of a drinks can or something?
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Old 05-07-06, 02:16 AM   #25
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Well... shims may make it slide easier, requiring tighter clamping forces, resulting in more deformity and creaking. Soda-cans are roughly 0.2mm, or 0.4mm if you have one complete layer wrapped around, way, way too thick for a shim. Anyway, at the minimum insertion point with clamp off , there should be ZERO lateral/longitudinal play, none whatsoever. The only free-movement direction is verticall in and out of the seat-tube. Also the clamp shouldn't be touching the seatpost either, it should only clamp around the seat-tube. You just have to chose one of two paths:

1. creaking seatpost in the model that you want
2. quiet seatpost in some other model
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